Tuesday, April 29, 2008

humming birds and purple martins

Dorothy put out a humming bird feeder and the frantic little creatures appeared immediately. I wondered how long they waited in the tree tops for us to hang the feeder. I did some research on the web and learned the birds that come to the feeder are the same ones that were here last year. They migrate during the winter as far south as Panama and in early spring start the trip north. When they arrive at the Yucatan Peninsula they eat until they weigh twice their normal weight and then begin the 22 hour flight across the Gulf of Mexico. When they arrive in Texas they are back to their normal weight and continue on until they alight on our feeder.

They're not the only birds that return to our house every year. We have a purple martin bird house and several families nest there each year. Purple martins are insect eaters and are said to devour their weight in mosquitoes every day. Not only do they eat on the wing, but they drink by dipping over a pond and scooping the water into their lower bill while in flight.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is quite interesting. Thanks for the info. I need to get my feeder out. Kelly

ml said...

That sugar-water feeder; is that nutritious "food" for hummingbirds? And while we were in North Carolina this past weekend, we saw a ruby-throated hummer sitting still in a tree staring at the hummingbird feeder of red liquid (sugar-water). It's so hard to see them when they're sitting still. This one was no bigger than the tight leaf-bud of a nearby maple tree.

Clarence said...

Hi Wally
Clarence here.

I've had feeders out for over a week now and not one Hummer has shown up to use them. I put them out when I did in response to a Hummingbird mapping site I found on-line.

That site's map revealed that Hummers were sighted in our area in mid-April last year. I didn't know they returned that early so I wanted to be ready should they do so. I watched as the sugar water went "BAD" and needed replacing without seeing even one bird. I hope you are right about them returning to the same areas each year. Last year we had a large number of them using our feeders. At one time we had four out at the same time. Could have used more.

Thanks for input.